Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Christianity and Rejection

People always ask me if I am not tired of people insulting me each time I wrote an article. I tell them I am not. Perhaps I should narrate part of my early Christian experience. In 1986 when I gave my life to Christ it was a great ignominy that you lost all your friends. Most of my friends ran away and I remember when I am passing people hide to call me names like Holy Spirit. I mean I had never been called such names and funny ones until that age. When a mother found their child walking with me they will beat them up. They will ask the child why he or she was walking with me and if he or she wanted to be "useless" like that idiot (that's me). Even classmates who could not even write a sentence both in our first, second or third languages would tell me I am stupid. They made fun of me as I went out and derided me as I came back.
Giving your life to Christ brought you shiners more than what criminals had. My in-law used to tell me: "you are the most wicked person going to church. You will not help your family if you become a Christian and you will be useless. How many white people have you seen in church here"? As I look at it now I laugh. We were living in a town with very few white people. So how was he going to see white people in church where there were no TV or the only one we had showed only the effigy of the president morning and night.
I remember one day how I visited one young man who gave his life to Christ. His father was a medical doctor. So he asked me for my name, parents and education. Then when I told him I had a degree he said come in and we began discussing about Christ. I was really too good for him. So he called the children and said: “this is the type of person you should listen to not these frustrated people out there who do not go to school”. Christianity in those days was like taking money to buy shame.
As time went on things began to change. One woman came to me one day and said: I heard your father has died yet you have kept yourself in school. Please, I want to give you my boy so you could proselyte him. Soon many parents were calling me as the example in the quarter. I remember a nurse who used to work for Brasserie Du Cameroun who invited me to his house to teach his kids what a model child should be. I used to carry cooking pots, food and things on my head to go to the market with my mother when kids that were just in secondary school felt it was a shame. When the truck pusher who had to carry my mother’s food to the market was delaying I will carry part of it on my head and my mother will carry the rest. It was a testament to the people in the quarters. Rather than everyone scorning at me the younger people mocked me but their parents gave me the respect and wanted all their children to behave like me.
Christianity is more than just going to church my friends. It is more than just singing and talking about God. It is a lifestyle. That is what made my family to believe in Christ,. They saw their kin change from a rascal to a gentleman.
Nonetheless, there were times I cried when people mocked me too much. I have cried too much when I was a young Christian that today I am a shame-proof. No matter how people mock at me I just laugh. Little kids will stand by the roadside; singing and clapping a mockery song. Those that shot little stones and hid themselves. Wow! What rejection have I not seen? My body even itches if I do not hear people say those things again. Yeah, they instead make me laugh and they now sound funny.
Sometimes I have fought back like when I was preaching in “Parlement” at Ngoa Ekelle and a girl was disrupting my homily calling me frustration papa. She will ululate and say “frustration papa”. So I stopped preaching because she was perturbing others from listening and gave her, her own medicine. I said: “look at you; you do not even have the name of a woman on your face. Will you too go if they wanted women to come to the presidency? The crowd shouted woooohhhhhh. What I meant was that she was an ugly woman. She went quiet but moved closer to me. Mehtought she wanted to hear more about God. As I came closer she landed me a dirty slap. My ears rumbled and my eyes saw stars. From nowhere a young man : not even in my group came and held her, pulled her by the side and began whooping her as if to kill a snake until I had to personally go and plead with the young man to leave her alone.
Today, almost everyone wants to be a Christian. This is wonderful. Rather than carry my bible secretly, I now write everywhere telling people I am a Christian. Wow. Lord I thank you for what you did for me and my friends. I look at most of them they are still here. I wonder if I had not experienced rejection as a young man what would have happened to me these days with all the rejections one faces almost daily. Wow, God is really good. The good thing about my Christianity is that people have known me since when I was a child and they do testify about my transformation. What else can a man want in life if it is not believing and serving Jesus Christ the only way of salvation?

Until then, be proud of your Christianity.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

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